Lack of Adequate Security

If companies want your business, they are required by law to keep you safe while on their premises.

Negligent Security

In Pennsylvania, property owners and occupiers have a duty to keep their premises safe for visitors, and this includes incorporating safety measures to prevent intentional harm from befalling their guests. Property owners who fail in this duty may be liable under the state’s premises liability laws for negligent security, and victims injured while on the premises of another person have a right to collect compensation after a negligent security incident. To learn more about your legal options from an experienced Pennsylvania attorney, call or text Robert Disney at 412-999-5765 or contact Disney Law in Pittsburgh today to schedule a free consultation.

Pennsylvania Premises Liability

Premises liability law in Pennsylvania requires that property owners and occupiers keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition for visitors and guests. If there is a hazardous condition on the property, owners have a duty to fix the dangerous condition or inform guests of the hazard when they enter the property to keep them from harm. If a property owner or occupier fails in their duty, they can be liable for any injuries caused by an accident on their premises. Some of the most common premises liability claims include slip and falls, trip and falls, drowning, dog bite attacks, elevator and escalator accidents, and negligent security claims.

Negligent Security Claims

A negligent security claim arises when a property owner or occupier has a lapse in security measures that results in a guest becoming the victim of a violent crime on their premises. These cases usually involve violent crime such as sexual assault, rape, robbery, assault, battery, shootings, stabbings, and homicide. In order to be held civilly liable for negligent security, the victim must be able to prove that the property owner knew or should have known about the possible dangers on the premises and failed to provide adequate security for guests. Some of the most common businesses where negligent security claims arise include the following:

  • Apartment and condominium complexes
  • Bars
  • Restaurants
  • Nightclubs
  • Hotels
  • Sporting events
  • Parking garages
  • Shopping malls
  • College campuses and dorms
  • Amusement parks
  • Casinos, and
  • Workplaces

The central question to any negligent security claim is whether the property owner provided reasonable security compared to the likelihood of crime occurring on their property. Some of the most common questions asked to determine whether the premises lacked adequate security include:

  • Whether there has been a history of criminal activity on the premises
  • Whether any actions have been taken to prevent crime from occurring
  • Neighborhood crime rates
  • Whether the nature of the business increases the likelihood of criminal activity
  • Whether the business is adequately staffed
  • Whether any security devices were in disrepair, and
  • What types of crime happen regularly in the area

If the answer to these questions indicates a higher likelihood of a visitor being harmed while on the premises, the property owner has a duty to protect or inform guests of potential harm that could be caused by a lack of security. Owners of properties that lack basic security measures or have security devices in disrepair are also more likely to be found liable if a criminal act happens to a guest while on the premises. Common security measures include warning signs, locks, safety lighting, security guards, motion sensor lights, alarms, fencing, security cameras, and screening those who enter the property.

Injuries Caused by Negligent Security

Because incidents related to negligent security claims are often criminal and violent in nature, the injuries that result can be severe. These types of injuries can require extensive medical treatment, considerable time out of work, and significant rehabilitation. In some cases, the injuries are permanent and result in a lifetime of disability or disfigurement. Some of the most common injuries inflicted in a negligent security claim include the following:

  • Head injuries
  • Facial trauma
  • Loss of eyes or teeth
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Nerve damage
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Stabbing injuries
  • Shooting injuries
  • Internal bleeding and organ damage
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Paralysis
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Anxiety and depression, and more.

The victims of crime that occur due to negligent security on the property of another person deserve to be compensated for their injuries, and an experienced attorney can help.

Compensation for Negligent Security Claims

Victims of negligent security incidents are entitled to compensation for the physical and mental harms inflicted upon them. Economic damages cover all out of pocket expenses after the incident, including all medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and the loss of future income and benefits. Noneconomic damages compensate a victim for their pain and suffering, emotional distress, disability, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life.

In the worst cases, when a person dies due to negligent security, the family of the victim may also seek compensation for wrongful death. Damages for wrongful death include payment for all final medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, any final pain and suffering of the victim, and for the loss of love, guidance, counsel, and companionship of the deceased.

It is important to note that Pennsylvania uses a modified comparative negligence standard when determining the final compensation in negligent security cases and other claims of premises liability. This means that the court determines the degree of fault for every party involved in the incident and reduces the overall award by that percentage; however, if a party is found to be more than 50% at fault they are barred completely from collecting any compensation for their claims. Insurers will often try to blame the victim in negligent security cases for contributing to their own injuries, which is why you need a knowledgeable premises liability attorney protecting your interests and defending your claims in this type of case.

Call or Contact Disney Law Today

If companies want your business, they are required by law to keep you safe while on their premises. Have you or someone you know been injured due to a lack of adequate security on someone else’s property? If so, you need the experienced legal assistance from the Pittsburgh office of Disney Law representing your case. To learn more about your legal options, call or text Robert Disney at 412-999-5765 or contact us today to schedule a free consultation of your case.